Jake Owen first cracked the country charts with “Yee Haw” in 2006. Since then, with three albums on RCA Nashville under his belt, he can exclaim those two words while headlining his own CMT “The Summer Never Ends” tour, with Love and Theft, and Florida Georgia Line.
Owen, who will play next Thursday at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, continues racking up hits, such as “Startin’ with Me,” “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You,”“Eight Second Ride” and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” Following in the footsteps of “Barefoot,” Owen has attained No.1 this year with “Alone with You,” and his latest single, which concludes his third CD, has made the top 10.
The 31-year-old, spending this week in Nashville, Tenn., for the Country Music Association Awards, before heading to Texas for two concerts this weekend, took some questions Tuesday by email, in a summery and warm way.
Question | When singing your latest blockbuster live, “The One That Got Away” – the lyrics to which many people probably relate – does the sentiment in those words hit your heart in a different way now than when you or either co-writer first composed it or experienced it or saw the story play out in real life?
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Answer | Man, the sentiment in the words is the same as the day we wrote it! Even though I’m HAPPILY married with a little one on the way, you just never forget that one in your life that seemed to get away!
Q. | Opening for Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw on their “Brothers of the Sun” tour in the biggest venues across the heartland, how does headlining your own let you continue defining your personality and style on stage to new degrees?
A. | I have been so fortunate to tour with and learn from artists like Kenny and Tim. Now I’m able to take what I’ve learned and add my own flavor to it. I’m a laid-back-and-have-a-good-time kinda guy, and I want my show to carry that same vibe.
Q. | Covering “Life in a Northern Town” with Sugarland and Little Big Town in 2008 – from a song first done by The Dream Academy, in the mid-1980s – and taking on other projects such as adding your voice to Colt Ford’s “Back” and releasing your “Endless Summer” EP this year, do such projects give you a new and fresh outlook, a sense of renewal, for new strides in your next album in the works?
A. | I love bringing new music to the fans as much as possible … I can’t seem to stay away from any opportunity that lets me create new music!
Q. | Succeeding with various songs that become such catchy tunes to which people sing along with a smile, going back to “Yee Haw,” does that confirm to you that music remains more than just a pastime for people, but a fabric to make each day brighter, that is, what might be just a routine song for you originally is a bigger part of fans’ lives?
A. | One of the coolest moments for me and I think almost any artist would say this is seeing fans singing the words back to you! You always hope that your music becomes a big part of their lives and when it does you know that you’ve made an impact in their lives.
Q. | Having a fraternal twin – a la Maurice and Robin Gibb, speaking of two late fellow residents in your home state – do you ever look at both of you and see how each man has answered his own calling in this world, so different or alike the other? Has the Twins Days Festival every August in Twinsburg, Ohio, ever a been destination?
A. | Ha! Can’t say that Twins Day was ever on our radar. Funny how different twins can be, but we are so proud of each other and happy for each other’s successes.
Q. | Growing up on the Sunshine State, like Easton Corbin – a University of Florida Gator – how many times did you see space shuttles climb the sky from your yard in Vero Beach, and are you still rooting for the Florida State Seminoles on the gridiron?
A. | Seeing the space shuttles climb the sky was always an awe-inspiring moment growing up. It really gives you the sense that anything is possible. Go Seminoles!
Q. | When will you and wife Lacey welcome your child into the world? Any names picked yet?
A. | Baby is due late November, and we’ve got the names narrowed down.